Samyang AF 35mm f/1.4 FE - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews - Sony Alpha (Full Format)

Review by Klaus Schroiff, published August 2019

Introduction

Samyang (aka Rokinon) may not be a household name in the photographic world - yet - but the velocity of new product releases in recent years has been impressive. In fact, they are probably releasing more new lenses than both Tokina and Tamron - combined - albeit their sales volume and overall relevance remain a bit of mystery also because their lenses are sold under various brand names. Anyway, one of the recently released lenses is the Samyang AF 35mm f/1.4 FE. In terms of specs, it competes directly against the Zeiss Distagon T* FE 35mm f/1.4 ZA. That is at less than half the price of the Sony/Zeiss lens or in other words - around 600USD/EUR. That's almost insanely inexpensive for such a lens and it's even more affordable than Sony's FE 35mm f/1.8.
The build quality of the AF 35mm f/1.4 FE is very good. The lens body is made of metal ( aluminum-alloy) including the focus ring. However, it doesn't feel quite as rock-solid Sony/Zeiss' own alternative. It's also not weather-sealed. While it has a slightly matte finish, it is rather slippery. The focus ring operates smoothly. A petal-shaped lens hood is part of the package.
The Samyang lens features a "Dual LSM (Linear Super sonic Motor)" for auto-focusing. Sounds fancy and it does, mostly, deliver. The AF speed is pretty good and it's near-silent. Manual focusing works by-wire - as usual. The manual focus action is fairly coarse although that's probably not an issue for most users.
Specifications
Optical construction11 Elements in 9 Groups including 2x aspherical and 2x HR elements
Number of aperture blades9 (rounded)
min. focus distance0.30m (max. magnification 1:5.88)
Dimensions75.9x115mm
Weight 645g
Filter size 67mm
Hoodpetal-shaped (bayonet mount, supplied)
Other features-
MountSony FE